year is 1120 AD and I'm sitting on my trusty steed surrounded by
twenty of my loyal bodyguards overlooking the mighty fortress of Bordeaux.
As King of Spain I had seen the French send in armies over the Spanish/French
border and carry out simultaneous attacks on my frontier towns and castles.
Enough blood had been shed on Spanish soil and I decided it was time to
stop these attacks at the source by summoning a massive army and attacking
the nearby walled city of Bordeaux. Once captured, my rule will be swift
and hard on the French and they will think again about their pitiful attacks
on my country.
I have just given my rousing speech to my army, consisting of two hundred battle-scarred spearmen,
one hundred and twenty Feudal Knights, two catapults, two Siege Units, sixty archers, sixty
crossbowmen, and countless armed militia, and they look hungry for French
blood! I give my order and 2 balls of flame streak through the air in
smoke and crash into the battlements….
… Let the battle of Bordeaux commence!
This is Medieval II Total War and believe me when I say this. You won’t
play a game of this sheer size, depth or detail until the Total War developers
release a follow up to this epic.
The newest of the Total War family, Medieval II takes the reigns from
Rome Total War and takes you on a dark journey through some of the most
turbulent centuries of Europe. From skirmishes in the Highlands between
Scotland and England to Grand Crusades that consist of warring countries
leaving their differences behind in Europe while they travel to Jerusalem
to rid the Holy Lands of the infidels. Each battle is a cinematic epic
that would not look out of place in the movies such as Braveheart, Gladiator,
and even Lord of the Rings!
As you can see, this game is more than just the battles that have made
the Total War series legendary. The Grand Campaign is so in depth you
actually feel like you are a member of the royal family. As your family
tree grows so does your empire and as your princes lead your armies into
battle there is always the task of winning valiantly but meanwhile you
want to get your prince home to raise his family, the future of your sovereign
dynasty hanging on a knife-edge.
OK, it might not be as deep as say, Sid Meier’s Civilisation, but
the fact that you build your cities and castles and can actually conduct
a battle in them is fantastic. When defending you actually feel your walls
crumbling as catapults and trebuchets rain fiery boulders down on you,
knowing full well that your going to have to rebuild the city from ruins…if
you survive that is!
Alliances, war and corruption are rife in this game and with loads of
factions present, (such as England, Scotland, France, Spain, Milan, Venice,
The Holy Roman Empire, Portugal, The Moors, the Aztecs, Egypt, Denmark
and Poland to name a few) it is very easy to be led into the dark side
of assassinations, bribery and pillaging. It’s still all good fun
I have been totally addicted to this game, and it is not uncommon for
a whole weekend to drift past while I plot my European conquest. Even
if you don’t have time for a grand campaign Total War offers custom
battles that you can tailor make for any situation. You can emulate William
Wallace or Robert the Bruce by fighting the English in Scottish Glens
and the Highlands, complete with blue face paint, two-handed swords and
patriotic speeches in Scottish accents (these are battles I never grow
In addition to the custom battles, you can also take command of legendry
battles such as the Battle of Hastings and The Battle of Agincourt with
William the Conqueror and King Henry V.
But nothing compares to fighting your own battles with generals you’ve
seen grow from birth and living through generations as you try rule the
This is by far the best strategy game I have played in a decade. Absolutely